Harriet Jacobs' autobiography, written under the pseudonym Linda Brent, details her experiences as a slave in North Carolina, her escape to freedom in the north, and her ensuing struggles to free her children. The narrative was partly serialized in the New York Tribune, but was discontinued because Jacobs' depictions of the sexual abuse of female slaves were considered too shocking. It was published in book form in 1861. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett).
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July 14, 2012 Subject:
Incidents in the Life...
An important, surprizingly uplifting, and gripping book, excellently read. I found myself sitting in my car listening to the end of chapters after I'd arrived at my destination!
From the title one might expect a depressing tale of abuse -- and there's plenty of that. But the author also writes of the many small deeds of everyday heroism that meant so much at the time time. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
The author's ability as a writer won me over from the start. Harriet Jacobs ("Linda") wrote in a quite modern style with none of that tiresome Victorian floweryness. She offers profound insights into the psychology, culture, and religious hypocrisy of slaveholders, and teaches more about the reality of slave life and the impact of Fugitive Slave laws than a secondary source could possibly do. There are many lessons for modern society here.
Harriet Jacobs was a great American. I for one would have liked to have met her. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your wonderful reading and for bringing this work to the attention of modern readers.
TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)
March 5, 2012 Subject:
Hands down the best reading I've heard from Librivox.
October 15, 2010 Subject:
Excellent reading of a moving book.
Thank you gloriana (Elizabeth Klett) for your fantastic reading of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.
You really made me think you were Harriet, displaying just the right level of emotion. Through you I could feel Harriet's anguish at being separated from her children and her delight in being reunited with them.
All the way through I was on tenterhooks, hoping for a happy ending for Harriet and her children. And gloriana's reading is so beautiful and emotional you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be affected by Harriet's suffering.
I've also learnt a lot about slavery and the laws and contemporary opinions surrounding it. This is definitely a book that everyone should listen to. Some wrongs should not be forgotten, so that we don't repeat them in future. The book itself is a moving and excellently written first person account of what it means for a person to be a slave.